“From: Greg Chen [mailto:GChen@aila.org]
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2017 10:06 AM
To: AILA Interior Enforcement List
Cc: AILA Interior Enforcement List; Kate Voigt; Laura Lynch; Kerri Talbot
Subject: [interiorenforcement] AILA shifted position on IJ funding – CJS approps
AILA’s board just voted to change our position on the funding of immigration judges: in brief, AILA will no longer be supporting increased funding for IJs. The change in position was motivated by two principal concerns: 1) additional funding for judges will enable this administration to deport more people more rapidly; and 2) increased judges will not necessarily promote due process and fairness for those appearing in proceedings, esp under the current administration.
We will convey this to key friends on the Hill, but we haven’t decided how actively we plan to push this.
Here’s what the House FY18 CJS bill includes, according to the summary posted by House approps:
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) – Funding for the EOIR is increased by $64.5 million, for a total of $505 million. This increase will provide for 65 additional immigration judge teams to process immigration reviews more quickly, and reduce the backlog of pending cases.
Gregory Z. Chen, Esq.
Director of Government Relations
Direct: 202-507-7615 I Cell: 202.716-5818 I Email: email@example.com American Immigration Lawyers Association
Main: 202.507.7600 I Fax: 202.783.7853 I www.aila.org<http://www.aila.org/>
1331 G Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005″
I can understand the sentiment that brought this about. I’m not sure, however, that this isn’t an exercise in “kicking the cat.” The real problem here is lack of independence and the highly inappropriate, facially unethical, role of the DOJ, which Congress created, allowed to fester, and failed to date to fix. And the type of misguided GOP agenda behind an atrocity like H.R. 391 also doesn’t help.
Interesting that the last several Administrations have mismanaged the Immigration Courts to the point where they appear to be doing exactly the opposite of their single mission: guaranteeing fairness and due process for all!
With this particular Congress and Administration, AILA’s change in position probably won’t mean much. Only White Nationalist and restrictionist groups seem to have any influence.
Sadly, years of hard-won progress in establishing due process in the Immigration Court system have now been squandered. EOIR and the Immigration Courts have returned to the mess that they were before EOIR was created.
Bad time to be seeking justice in America! Thanks to my former Georgetown Law Refugee Law & Policy student Shaw Drake for sending me this item!